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Student Handbook


Welcome to Heller Elementary School. This journal is provided to students to help them become acquainted with their school and to help them become better at both organizing and planning. Each student is encouraged to read the printed materials and share the information with his/her parents.

The Neodesha USD 461 Board of Education and professional educators believe that it is our mission to provide all students with the educational opportunity to succeed now and later in life.

Academic dishonesty is not acceptable. Cheating, defined as copying another’s work and claiming it as your own and plagiarism, defined as the use of another person’s ideas or writing without giving credit to the true author, are both prohibited practices. Materials taken from electronic sources are covered by this policy. A student who engages in any form of academic dishonesty will be subject to the loss of credit for the work in question, as well as other disciplinary measures.

If it is necessary for your child to be absent from school, you are asked to call the school office by 9:00 a.m. The listing of the student’s absence as excused or unexcused will be at the discretion of the principal. If a child has been ill and/or has a valid excuse for being absent from school, the teacher will make a special effort to allow the work to be made up. Remember, however, a day of school lost because of an absence can never be made
up completely; the child has lost that day's instruction with the group. The teacher can, and will, help the child to learn some of the skills that were presented when he or she was absent. Regular attendance is necessary for
good progress in school! If a child cannot be at school on time, send them as soon as possible. State
attendance laws state any student having excessive tardiness or absenteeism will be reported to the County Attorney for action on this matter. Excessive absences as defined by the state are any student who misses three (3) consecutive days or five (5) or more days in a semester, or seven (7) days in a year. Any student having excessive tardiness or absenteeism will be reported to the County Attorney for action on this matter.

S.B. 593 - Requiring Proof of Identity for children enrolling in school from another district. Proof of identity can be a birth certificate, a copy of a court order placing a child in the custody of SRS, a certified transcript or other similar pupil record, or other documentary evidence that the Board considers satisfactory. If the proof of identity is not provided within 30 days, the Board must notify the local law enforcement agency that will then promptly investigate the identity of the child. During the investigation, school personnel must provide law enforcement agencies with access to school premises. Unless school personnel agree that their presence is not in the best interest of the child, school personnel must be present at all times during the investigation. This bill also prohibits disclosure of information acquired under the foregoing procedure for any other purpose.

Bullying will not be tolerated on school property, in a school vehicle or at a school sponsored activity or event.
Bullying is defined as: Purposely attempting to control or intimidate another person by one or more individuals with verbal, written or physical acts. These acts or threats are severe, persistent or pervasive and create an intimidating, threatening or abusive environment for students or staff members.
Examples of bullying include, but are not limited to:
• Intimidation – either physical or mental.
• Threats of any kind.
• Assaults – verbal, physical, mental, or toward property.
Cyber Bullying is defined as:
Cyber bullying is when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, cell phones or other cyber technology.
Cyber bullying will also not be tolerated.
Examples of Cyber bullying include but are not limited to:
• Sending inappropriate text, email, or instant messages;
• Posting inappropriate pictures or messages about others on blogs or on web sites;
• Using someone else’s user name to spread rumors or lies about someone;
The School Board expects administrators and supervisors to make clear to students and staff that bullying in the
school building, on school grounds, on the bus, or at school-sponsored functions will not be tolerated and will be
grounds for disciplinary action. Any student who believes that he or she has been subjected to bullying or has witnessed a bullying act should report the alleged bullying to the teacher, bus driver, para, or counselor. The complaint will then be relayed immediately to the building principal.

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When a parent or guardian feels the need to contact the teacher and/or school for a specific situation or concern,
it is essential that the chain of command be followed closely. The chain of command is simply bringing the issue or concern directly to the individual(s) involved before bringing the issue to that person’s supervisor/employer. Cases in point: a parent or guardian visits with the classroom teacher prior to visiting with the building principal; or the parent or guardian visits with the building principal prior to contacting the superintendent or board of education member.
Using the chain of command will provide consistency in dealing with most concerns. Our district is committed to using this approach in all situations.

We will try to make a decision by 6:00 a.m., but on occasion, we are unable to do so. When school is closed or postponed, we will notify you in the following manner: School Reach, District Facebook Page, Nixle, Cable City Alert System – Channel 14; and KOAM TV-Channel 7; KODE TV-Channel 12; KGGF-690-Coffeyville; KKOY-1460-Chanute; KIND-1010- Independence
1. USD 461 has four buses that travel a distance of approximately 334 miles per day.
2. No announcements will be made if school will be open.
3. School must be in session whenever possible.
4. The safety of the children is the number one priority of USD 461.
5. Have an early dismissal plan for your children if you are a working parent or plan not to be at home.
6. Please do not call administrators or schools.

The USD 461 website and the district-based Facebook page will provide valuable information for our parents. In addition, parents and students will find important announcements in the Heller Teller/North Lawn News on a weekly basis. The School Messenger system will be used to announce school closings and other various announcements throughout the school year for each building and the district. In the future, this system will also be used to notify parents of lunch balances and
attendance. You will receive communication regarding this procedure. Please make sure your information is updated through the secretaries at each building. The system is only as reliable as the information in our system.

The use of the Internet as an information source is allowed only under the direction and rules of an adult supervisor. Access to the Neodesha Information Network is a privilege, and not a right. Students may receive disciplinary consequences for inappropriate use of the information network.
Students shall have no expectations of privacy when using district computer systems. The school retains the right to duplicate any information created by students in a computer system or on any individual computer.

The Board of Education and administration of U.S.D. #461 acknowledges the necessity to prepare a Crisis Management
Plan in the even that a crisis should occur. Participants and staff have a basic need for security and safety. Any event, which threatens that feeling of safety and security, shall be considered a crisis. There are unlimited possibilities for a crisis situation. Those include, but are not limited to: death, suicide, natural disaster, acts of violence, and accident.
U.S.D. #461’s Operational Procedures:
1. U.S.D. #461 will refrain from on-site funerals.
2. Memorials will be guided as documented in the District Crisis Response Plan Handbook.
3. Superintendent will conduct ALL press interviews. Students are encouraged to avoid media interviews.
4. Evacuation Procedure.
Central Parent Communication Location: Information regarding situation/student will be accessed at the Board of Education office.

The following discipline policy is formulated to provide guidance to students, parents, guardians, teachers, and administrators in carrying out discipline procedures. These procedures are in place to ensure a safe and orderly environment for learning.
Statement of Responsibility
The school shall be responsible for discipline and the safety of the students on campus or field trips from when the doors open until the students are dismissed for the day. The responsibility of the school continues after 3:30 p.m. when school-sponsored activities, approved by the BOE, are taking place.
Members of the certified staff of the school are not responsible for the behavior and/or acts of students on the way to and from school (except for bus riders); that responsibility lies with the parents/guardians of the student. SCHOOLWIDE RULES STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO:

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1. Walk in the halls quietly.
2. Use good manners.
3. Keep your hands, feet, and other objects to yourself.
4. Treat others with respect.
5. Respect school property.
6. Use appropriate language and gestures.
7. Obey all reasonable requests by adults who work at school.
All Staff Members are Disciplinarians
Every staff member in the building is a teacher of all the children in the school. All staff, certified and non-certified, have full authority over students anywhere on the grounds or in the school building and will report acts of disobedience to the individual student’s teacher or to the principal.
Classroom Teacher's Role In Discipline
The classroom teacher will be the primary disciplinarian of his or her classroom, but the principal is to assist the teachers in carrying out discipline procedures when requested by the teacher to do so.
Good classroom discipline is necessary for a proper learning atmosphere. Teachers are expected to maintain effective classroom order. Teachers are to go over their discipline policy with students and explain it so that every student understands according to his/her level of development what the rules are and the consequences for disobeying. This should be done on the first day of school.
Classroom Expectations
Students are expected to be active participants in the learning process. To accomplish this, some common
rules must be recognized and practiced:
1. Help maintain a school atmosphere conducive to learning. Be orderly in the room.
2. Respect the bodies, space and property of others.
3. Give courteous attention.
4. Never interfere with the right of the teacher to teach or other students to learn.
5. Be prepared for class by bringing all necessary materials.
6. Be considerate of classmates by not distracting or interrupting.
Principal’s Role In Discipline
The principal is available for assistance to all teachers in disciplinary cases and acts on his, or her, own when situations occur that demand the principal’s attention. The principal may assist in cases that involve students
from different rooms.
Consequences When A Student Chooses to Break A School-Wide Rule
In the Restroom or Hall- Loss of privilege to leave the classroom unsupervised.
On the Playground- Loss of recess privilege; remain quietly in designated timeout area.
In the Lunchroom- Loss of privilege to eat with the other students; remain quietly in designated timeout area. *Multiple offences will result in an office referral and/or a thirty-minute detention.
Behaviors Resulting in an Immediate Office Referral
1. Any action that is done with intent to harm another person.
2. Stealing or destroying property
3. Defiance of authority or disrespect toward an adult.
4. Continuous disruptive behavior.
5. Leaving the school grounds without permission.
6. Use of profanity and/or gestures.
7. Throwing rocks or snowballs.
8. Bullying.
When a student engages in any of the above behaviors, he/she will be sent to the office with an Office Referral. Consequences for the behavior will be assigned by the teacher and/or principal. Parents will be mailed a copy of
the Office Referral.
Detention Of Students
Parents, and/or guardians, of students receiving a detention will be notified by phone explaining that their child will be detained on an appointed day, and that the parents and/or guardian will be responsible for providing transportation home for their child.
In-School Suspension
In-School suspensions will be used under certain circumstances (disruptions, skipping detentions, office referrals, leaving school, and special conditions). Regular class work will be given and required of those students assigned
to the suspension facility. The length of any one session of In-School suspension will not exceed five (5) school days. Students will provide their own lunch (not fast food) or will eat the school lunch.
Out-of-School Suspension
Students may legally be suspended for any of the following reasons**
1. Willful violation of any published regulation for student conduct adopted or approved by the Board of Education. 2. Conduct which substantially disrupts, impedes, or interferes with the operation of school.
3. Conduct that substantially infringes upon or invades the rights of others.
4. Disobedience of an order from a teacher, peace officer, or any other school authority.

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5. Conduct which has resulted in conviction of a pupil, or any student offense specified in chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, or any criminal statute of the United States. (**From Kansas Statutes Annotated 72-8901)
An administrator of USD 461 may impose short-term suspensions upon a student for a period not to exceed ten
(10) consecutive school days. The student must be informed of the reason(s) for the suspension and be given an

informal hearing to explain his or her actions and positions. A written notice of the short-term suspension and reasons shall be given to the student, superintendent, and parent within 24 hours after the suspension has been imposed. When students engage in fighting or other serious offenses, the school is required by state law to report the incident to law enforcement in addition to the normal suspension consequences. (KSA 72-8901)

The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students on school premises or as a part of any school activity is prohibited. This policy is required by the 1989 amendments to the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, P.L. 102-226, 103 St. 1928. (Cf. LDD)

In the event a student refuses to do or to complete an assignment, the classroom teacher will handle each case on an individual basis. The building principal may assist the teacher if requested to do so.

When the school has field trips scheduled, a note will be sent to each parent with details about the trip.

There will be no chewing of gum in the school because of the mess that discarded gum creates.

Invitations to parties may be handed out at school only if every child in the class is invited.

The Unified School District 461 of Neodesha, Kansas, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap in admission or access to, or treatment, or employment in its programs and activities. If you have questions regarding the above, please contact: the Superintendent of Schools, 522 Wisconsin, 325- 2610.

Report cards will be issued to each student four times each year. Additionally, mid-term reports will be issued to 1
st through 3rd grade students four times a year. Formal parent-teacher conference will be held at designated times. A conference regarding a student's progress can be arranged anytime throughout the school year by
calling the school.
Heller Elementary holds “open conferences”. Please plan to spend a short period of time with your child's teacher as this can be a valuable experience for the parent and teacher and will be quite important in the instruction of the child. If the scheduled district-wide conference dates and times are not convenient, parents are welcome to contact the teacher to set up an alternate conference time.

Parents are welcome to visit in the classrooms or confer with the teachers or principal when they desire, and are urged to do so. It is advisable for parents to talk to the teacher at a time when he or she is not teaching classes. If you feel that you would like to have a conference set up for you with your child's teacher before the regularly scheduled conference, please call the school (325-3066) and ask to have such a conference set up. The school personnel will be happy to do so. Parents and/or visitors must buzz in at the main entrance door to be
allowed access to the building. Upon entering, they are required to check in at the office.

Students are to never leave the school grounds during the school day without permission from the principal's office. If a student is going out to lunch with a parent, the parent must sign him/her out through the office.

Each spring, there is considerable discussion about placing children in classes for the next school year. This is a matter that we do not take lightly at our school, and the staff spends countless hours in forming well-balanced classes in which all children will have an opportunity to learn and to grow in their academic and social skills. Classes are structured following a clear set of guidelines. Classes are formed into deliberate heterogeneous groups with the following in mind:
• an even boy-girl balance
• a full range of aptitudes within each class

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• an even proportion of abilities and learning styles across the classes at each grade level
• an equal number of pupils in each class on a grade level
Once these factors have been considered, teachers begin to build a class of children who show promise of
working well together. At this point, attempts are made to match pupil and teacher personality and style. Quite understandably, these decisions are based upon observations made by the teachers during the course of the
year. While we welcome your input about your child’s individual learning needs, we trust that you understand that your comments constitute just one of the many factors that we consider in forming classes. The final decision on class placements resides with the school.
A list of children assigned to each room will be posted at enrollment and by the classrooms on the first day of classes.

Every effort will be made to work with each student at his/her level of ability. The teacher will have conferences with the parents of the student that is having academic difficulty in school. The occasion may arise that in the judgment of the teacher/principal, it would be an advantage to the student to repeat a grade. This final decision will be made by the teacher/principal with the knowledge of the parent.

Students will be taken outside when it is not raining or when it is not extremely cold. Please dress your child appropriately for the weather. Children are not allowed to stay in unless we have a doctor’s note.
Swing Sets - Stand back from others who are swinging. Stay seated, do not stand in swings. Be sure to stop swinging before you get out. One person only in each swing. Do not swing sideways or twist swings. Leave swings hanging in position when no one is using them.
Football Games – Full contact games are not allowed.
Soccer – Soccer is to be played on the soccer field. Good sportsmanship is an important part of all sports. There shall be no tripping, wrestling, or piling on top of one another. If students are unable to practice good sportsmanship, soccer will no longer be allowed
Slide and Jungle Gym - Slide feet first down slides and do not walk or crawl up the slide. Chasing and playing tag shall not be done around equipment.
Basketball - Do not climb up pole or onto hoop. If something is wrong with the net or hoop, ask the teacher for assistance.

Any district employee who knows or has reason to believe any of the following has occurred at school, on school property, or at a school-sponsored activity shall immediately report this information to local law enforcement:
• An act which may constitute the commission of a felony or a misdemeanor;
• An act which involves the possession, use, or disposal of: explosives, firearms, or other weapons
as defined in current law.

Children should use crosswalks and obey crossing guards when going to and from school. Sidewalks are to be used when available. Crossing paths and crossing guards will be located at each school.
Bicycles, which have been ridden to school, are to be parked in the bicycle rack and not removed until the child is ready to leave for home. Bicycles are to be walked onto school grounds. Bicycles should not be left on the
school grounds overnight as some have been stolen or damaged in past years. Riding someone's bicycle
without his or her permission is not permitted. The school is not responsible for lost or damaged bicycles. Skateboards, roller skates/blades, etc. are not to be brought to school.
Pets - The child's pets should not accompany the child to school. It may be necessary to contact the animal control people to remove such pets. Urge your child not to pet or handle strange dogs and cats on the way to school.
Toys and Trinkets - These should not be brought to school. They may be confiscated, if considered a nuisance, and not returned to the child.
Student Dress – Because of the relationship between a student’s appearance and his/her appropriate behavior conducive to learning, all students at Heller Elementary are expected to dress neatly and appropriately following these guidelines:
1. Headdress such as caps, hats, sweatbands, “do-rags”, and hoods are not appropriate school apparel and
will not be worn inside the building.
2. Clothing displaying bare midriffs, tank tops with low-cut necks or large armholes, spaghetti strap tanks,
short shorts, and extra low-rise jeans displaying undergarments are not appropriate school apparel.
3. No shoes with wheels.
4. Clothing with obscene, suggestive, disruptive, or inappropriate printing or pictures is not appropriate
school apparel.
Tobacco - The use and/or possession of tobacco or tobacco products is prohibited and any student who violates

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this rule is subject to the Discipline Policy code rules.
Leaving School Grounds Promptly After School - All students should go home or to a designated destination immediately after school. The playground is not supervised after school, and children are not allowed to play at that time.
Lost and Found Articles - The most important aid in handling personal items is to have them clearly marked with the owner's name so they can be returned to them.
Electronic Devices – Students are not allowed to have radios, CD players, cell phones, or any other electronic devices at school. In the event that a cell phone is necessary, it must be checked into the office upon arrival at school.

School breakfast is available to elementary students, serving to begin at 7:45 a.m. Breakfast tickets will be sold under the same guidelines as lunch tickets. School breakfast cannot interfere with class time. Students who eat breakfast are expected to be finished eating and in their classroom when school begins at 8:05 a.m.
Lunches are served to all students in grades kindergarten through third who desire them. A parent may purchase
as many meals, pre-K milk, and kindergarten milk as desired, since there is a “no charge” policy for school lunch/breakfast and milk. This "no charge" policy is set by the Neodesha Board of Education. Checks for
lunches should be written to Heller Elementary.
Applications for free or reduced price school lunches will be given to each family on enrollment day. If you do not apply when school begins and find that later you need to apply, feel free to do so. Applications are available in
the office.
Students that bring their lunches will eat in the lunchroom with their regular class.
Daily lunch periods are staggered, with each grade having a designated lunch period.

In order to comply with State and Federal meal reimbursement guidelines, student meal accounts are not allowed to

incur debt larger than $10.00. If a student’s account reaches a negative balance of -$10.00, the student is no longer allowed to charge meals and will be provided with an alternative meal by the district for up to 5 days. The meal typically consists of a carton of milk and a bowl of cereal. Since it is provided free to the student, it must be at a minimal cost to the district. After this period, parents/guardians must send money or make other arrangements for the student’s meals. When a student’s meal account balance gets low, notes are sent home. Parents/guardians may also log into PowerSchool to check meal account balances. School personnel make every effort to collect unpaid meal charges by contacting the parent/guardian through phone calls, emails, and/or letters in order to avoid students not receiving a hot meal. Parents/guardians are encouraged to fill out an Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals at the beginning of the school year or at any point thereafter. Families who do not qualify initially, but have a change in circumstances, should reapply. If a student’s meals status changes to free and/or reduced, all outstanding balances must still be paid in full.

Cross-town transportation will be furnished for all students approved to ride the bus between schools, both morning and afternoon. Parents will sign a transportation form on the day of enrollment if they want their children to ride the bus. Only students that are approved to ride the bus will be allowed to do so. Out of district visitors
or visiting friends will not be allowed to ride the bus.
All students that ride the bus must follow the rules as posted on the bus and given to each student
1. The driver is in charge of pupils and the bus. All pupils must obey the driver promptly and cheerfully.
2. Pupils must be on time. The bus cannot wait beyond its regular schedule for those who are tardy.
3. Pupils should never stand in the roadway while waiting for the bus.
4. No smoking or eating on the bus at any time.
5. Unnecessary conversation with the driver is prohibited.
6. Classroom conduct is to be observed by pupils while riding in the bus, except for ordinary conversation. No "horseplay" will be permitted.
7. Pupils must not at any time extend arms or head out of bus windows.
8. Pupils must not try to get off the bus, or move about within the bus while it is in motion.
9. Pupils must observe instructions from the driver when leaving the bus.
10. Any damage to a bus by a student must be paid for by the student responsible for the damage.
11. The driver will not discharge riders at places other than the regular bus stop near the home, or at school, unless by proper authorization from parent, the superintendent or principal of the school.
12. Students may not load large projects that will block the aisle on the bus.
13. Glass objects and balloons are not allowed on the bus.
14. Students are not allowed to bring live animals on the bus.
15. All loose toys are to be kept in a bag or box.
16. Students who are not regular bus route students and wish to ride the bus home to visit or stay overnight with a friend, must present a note signed by both students’ parents granting permission or receive permission from
the building principal. Students will not be permitted to ride cross-town to visit or stay with a friend within the

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city limits except in cases of emergency.

The school day will begin at 8:05 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m. Students are not to arrive at school before 7:40. Designated doors will open at 7:40 for students who eat breakfast. The rest will report to the gymnasium until the 8:00 bell. Students are required to sit in designated areas in the gymnasium, depending on their grade level and if they are eating breakfast. School will begin at 8:45 a.m. for students every Wednesday so the teachers may meet to collaborate from 7:30-8:30
a.m. Arrangements will be made for students who arrive at the usual school time.
. Adjustments will be made during inclimate weather. All school doors will lock at 8:05 and will remain locked the entire school day. Parents and/or visitors must buzz in at the main entrance. We ask that you keep your child’s daily dismissal routine as consistent as possible. If something comes up and you must make changes, please notify the office before 3:00.
When students are dismissed at the end of the day, the procedure will be as follows:
1. First round bus riders are dismissed to load busses.
2. Second round bus riders are dismissed to line up in the gym.
3. Students who walk, or are picked up in car rider lane, are dismissed.
4. Students who are picked up by parents at designated exit doors are dismissed.
We offer a Drop Off/Pick Up lane in the alley to help make drop off and pick up easier for you. This allows the
parent to stay in their vehicle and the child to exit or enter safely.
To ensure the safety of all students we ask that:
• all children and adults use the crosswalks when crossing the street.
• children not play on the playground before or after school because there is no supervision at that time.

If health problems arise and you would like to talk to the nurse, please call the school office and an appointment will be made for you. Students entering school should have their immunizations completed by the first day of school. Please notify the school personnel of any medical problems such as allergies, epilepsy, hearing or sight, etc., that your child may have.
In addition to performing health nurse duties, the nurse will be active in encouraging a constant emphasis on health education in each classroom. She will be available by appointment for consultation with parents, students, and teachers.
The following are a few points of the general school health policies that will be of interest to students and parents: 1. The school personnel, including the school nurse, do not give medicine, treatments, or make a
diagnosis. They only administer first aid when needed. They do not give medications of any kind nor are
any of the school officials to be custodians of any medicine unless the medicine is prescribed by a doctor.
This includes aspirin, cough medicines, etc. (A permission form filled out by the doctor must be on file at
the school.)
2. For minor injuries, first aid is administered by the teacher, principal, nurse, secretary, or in some
instances by the child himself, but never to one child by another child.
3. Children who exhibit symptoms of illness should not be sent to school. School personnel reserve the right
to decide whether or not a child should remain in school. If your child runs a fever of 100 degrees or
above he/she must stay home, temperature free and un-medicated, for 24 hours.
4. No child will be taken home or sent home until parents or another responsible person is notified.

The school phones are for necessary school business and children should use the phone only when their call is really necessary. Please plan ahead with your children so they will not need to make unnecessary calls for library books, lunch money, gym shoes, etc. All calls after school will be made by the permission of the child's teacher only.

Interrelated, extended learning, occupational/physical therapy, and speech/language services are provided in the district schools through the Tri-County Special Education Cooperative.

A student who knowingly possesses any object considered a weapon or facsimile of a weapon at school or school
activity will face disciplinary action and an immediate report to law enforcement officials. If the weapon is a firearm, expulsion from school for a period of up to 186 school days will occur (unless some very unusual circumstance is present) 

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District Office 620.325.2610

High School 620.325.3015

North Lawn Elementary 620.325.3011

Heller Elementary 620.325.3066

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